The city of Berlin, Germany, is probably one of the coolest places on the face of the planet. It’s so incredibly cool, in fact, that there are actually debates online about whether the city is so cool that it’s no longer cool anymore.
It has avant-garde art galleries. Eclectic architecture. Trendy cafes. And now, Berlin can boast that it has a public transportation system that is so cool, you can buy a ticket to ride in the form of limited edition adidas sneakers.
On Tuesday, Berliners lined up outside of Overkill footwear store in hopes they would be able to purchase one of 500 pairs of shoes created by adidas in collaboration with BVG, the company responsible for running Berlin’s trams and buses.
The EQT Support 93/Berlin is meant to celebrate Berlin’s public transportation, featuring the same colors and patterns that can be found on the interior of BVG’s vehicles. But the hints of urban camouflage aren’t the only reason why so many people waited days in freezing weather for the chance to own this slice of Berlin culture.
Those who managed to purchase a pair received an annual transit pass that’s embedded directly into the fabric of the tongue of the shoes. Riders wearing the EQTs will be able to hop on any BVG vehicle and simply point to their feet when asked to present their fare.
That’s pretty cool.
Even cooler yet is the fact that sneakerheads purchasing the shoe will get a massive discount on their transportation costs. Though the sneakers retailed for €180, the cost of an annual transit ticket in Berlin is €728 for the cheapest version. But if you weren’t one of the lucky ones who walked away from Overkill with your own pair, it just became a lot harder to capitalize on this deal now — the shoes are already selling for thousands of dollars on sites like eBay.
The entire project was conceived as a way to celebrate the 90th birthday of Berlin’s public transit system, which shuttled over 1 billion riders throughout the city last year. Petra Reetz, a spokesperson for BVG, told the Guardian that the collaboration with adidas was a way to encourage even more ridership.
“The motivation behind the collaboration is really to get young people on to public transport,” said Reetz. “In a big city like Berlin, the quality of life and quality of the air are important. We wanted to tell young people public transport is cool – you don’t need to buy a car.”
Global Citizen campaigns on the United Nations’ Global Goals. Global goal number 13 is taking action on climate change, and finding innovative solutions to reducing the use of fossil fuels is a key component of this challenge. You can take action on this issue here.
With a design that highlights the coolness of Berlin, and also the use of public transportation, adidas has found yet another way to advocate for a cleaner environment through fashion. Last year the company made a splash with similarly-hyped shoes made from recycled ocean plastic, as well as a fully biodegradable model.
Demand for all three of the limited edition collaborations continues to be high, and designers are taking note that when it comes to climate change, it seems people around the world are eager to wear their heart not just on their sleeves, but also on their feet.